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In the liner notes of NYC jazz trio Harriet Tubman’s new album, Araminta, the great pop critic Greg Tate writes: “This is the music of lyrical and mythopoeic Blackfolk with liberated, decolonized and highly elevated consciousness. It is lyrical, righteous and volcanic.” Evoking the modern civil rights cry of our time, “Black Lives Matter,” Tate concludes, that on this record — which features the guest trumpet work of the legendary Wadada Leo Smith — the band couldn’t be “more personal, more engaged, more spiritual regenerative, or more radically oppositional to That BS.”

In a recent interview with Brad Cohan for the Observer, Tubman guitarist Brandon Ross clarifies even further: “Harriet Tubman isn’t a political platform per se. Just showing up as ‘other’ is a political platform nowadays!” Harriet Tubman’s work stretches back to the late ’90s, and its members — Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs, and drummer J.T. Lewis — have worked with artists as wide ranging as Henry Rollins, John Lurie, Archie Shepp, DJ Logic, Arrested Development, Lou Reed, and Herbie Hancock. Their power, expressed through songs like “Blacktal Fractual,” draws from the psychedelic blues of Hendrix and the force of early hardcore, melding that rangy energy to spiritual and cosmic jazz expanses. Harriet Tubman blows hot breath in the face of oppression. words/j woodbury

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Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 470: W-X – Intro ++ BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Vespucci ++ Shintaro Sakamoto – Mask On Mask ++ The Makers – Don’t Challenge Me ++ Peter Gabriel – We Do What We’re Told ++ Shintaro Sakamoto – In A Phantom Mood ++ Ramases – Dying Swan Year 2000 ++ Jeff Phelps – Excerpts From Autumn ++ Starship Commander Woo Woo – Master Ship ++ Ty Segall – Squealer Two ++ David Bowie – Future Legend > Candidate (Intimacy Mix) ++ Faust – It’s A Bit Of A Pain ++ Joni Mitchell – The Jungle Line ++ White Fence – Trouble Is Trouble Never Seen ++ Jack Name – New Guitars ++ David Bowie – Sons of the Silent Age ++ Talking Heads/Brian Eno – Double Groove (Unfinished Take) ++ Wire – Used To ++ Ty Segall – Music For A Film ++ Faust – Krautrock ++ The Rabble – Intro ++ Sam Spence – Sunken Ship ++ Jim O’Rourke – All Your Love++ T. Rex – Ride My Wheels ++ Sun Ra – We’re Living In The Space Age ++ T. Rex – Chrome Sitar ++ David Bowie – TVC 15 ++ Gary Numan – Films ++ Deerhunter – Ad Astra ++ Talking Heads – Warning Sign (’77 demo version) ++ Kindness – Swinging Party ++ 6ix – I’m Just Like You ++ Guitar Red – Disco From A Space Show ++ Broadcast – Echo’s Answer ++ Cocteau Twins – Fluffy Tufts ++ Olivia Newton John – Love Song ++ Yura Yura Teikoku – Ohayo Mada Yaro

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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In December 2007, Trish Keenan and James Cargill of Broadcast joined Trunk Records impresario Jonny Trunk on his OST Show to play and discuss some of their favorite library and film/TV music. Fascinating selections aside—traces of which can no doubt be heard in Broadcast’s own music—the two-hour program is a wonderful and welcome glimpse at the personalities behind one of the very best groups of the modern era. Re-aired the day after Trish Keenan’s tragic and untimely death in January 2011, the appearance only further adds to Broadcast’s ever-growing legacy, offering up dozens of avenues to explore for fans both new and old. words / k evans

Broadcast :: The OST Radio Show / Air-Date – January, 2011

**playlist/provenance after the jump. . .

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At first glance Mind Over Mirrors and Paradise of Bachelors may seem like an odd fit. After all, this will be the first release from the North Carolina label that doesn’t feature a guitar. Jaime Fennelly, the songwriter and mastermind behind the Mirror, prefers to compose his songs on the harmonium. But upon further analysis, Undying Color (Out 2/17), is fueled by the same cosmic drift that underlies the core ethos of Paradise’s philosophy. This is an album that celebrates the questions rather than yearns for answers. We recently spoke with Fennelly about solitary lifestyles, the brutal Chicago winter, and expanding Mind Over Mirrors into a full band.

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Over the course of two decades Will Johnson fronted the Denton, TX based yin and yang that was Centro-matic / South San Gabriel. Ever prolific, the songwriter also took part in a number of collaborative projects in addition to recording music under his own name. With Centro-matic having shuttered in 2014, Johnson returns next month via his fifth solo effort — Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm. A sort of amalgamation of the varied, rough-hewn, Centro-matic aesthetic, the record finds Johnson embracing off-kilter dynamics while eschewing the more atmospheric side of South San Gabriel and previous solo works.

A pensive listen, the record largely concerns itself with characters dealing with “situations of tension”, as Johnson notes in the liners. Per the track below, “Predator”, Johnson told AD that he found “the disruptive, teetering lives of several characters (Tommy, Delilah and Rick) whirling around in (his) head. Good people doing bad things. The narrator desires some distance, but never for too long.”

The record is out March 24th via Undertow Music. In the meantime, Johnson is presently on tour stateside doing a series of intimate living room shows.

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Trumpeter and bandleader Yazz Ahmed’s resume includes work with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Radiohead (she contributed flugelhorn to King of Limbs) but it’s the sounds of her remarkable forthcoming album, La Saboteuse, which truly proclaim her as a must-watch figure in jazz world. Following the Bahraini’s debut My Way Home (which she released at the age of 19) and her 2015 suite Alhaan al Siduri, La Saboteuse features progressive elegies, awash in post-rock, ambient and In a Silent Way-style textures. Set for release on May 12th, the album’s being rolled out by individual chapter. The first, “The Space Between the Fish & the Moon,” offers a tantalizing look at what’s to come, with Ahmed’s electronically-treated trumpet cascading over Lewis Wright’s vibes and Corrina Silvester’s imaginative percussion. Each subsequent chapter — and the forthcoming full-length album — features artwork by Bristol graphic designer Sophie Bass, rich with symbolism and bold, colorful imagery. words/j woodbury

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Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

This latest installment of the Lagniappe Sessions hits close to home — Steve Gunn taking on a pair of Smiths tunes. Gunn, in his own words, below. His latest LP, Eyes On The Lines, is out now via Matador.
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A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them.

When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker.

I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.

Steve Gunn :: This Night Has Opened My Eyes (The Smiths)

As a teenager, I did a lot of walking around with my little foam headphones listening to Louder Than Bombs on cassette, using up a lot of AA batteries. This was the first double album I’d ever became acquainted with, and I listened incessantly–forever etching these songs into my memory. Morrissey’s lyrics and sentiment cemented the vision I had of myself as this forlorn figure walking through suburban Philadelphia, back from high school, without much destination. Oh the pain! Ultimately, though, there was always an underlying message of hope in all of these depressing songs, which made me love this band.

Steve Gunn :: The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (The Smiths)

This song, from their first self-titled album, stands out because of Morrissey’s vocal delivery. His gothic, folklorish, lonely, dark and ghostly words are there, of course, but the vocals roll along in an almost, dare I say, Dylanesque style. One sentence collides with the next. The album is a favorite of mine because it’s more stripped down that the ones that come after; the Johnny Marr guitar arrangements are simpler, less layered. It wasn’t until their next studio album, Meat is Murder, that he really started layering tracks and finding lush arrangements. A great example is the introduction on the song “How Soon is Now’”—still a constant topic of discussion among guitar freaks and studio nerds across the globe.

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen